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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Good for Charlotte

At a time when the proposed merger of Duke Energy and Progress Energy is giving Raleigh concern about migration of jobs and community financial support to Charlotte, it's great to hear that Charlotte will host the 2012 National Democratic Convention.

Since World War II, only 17 cities have hosted a national convention of either party: Atlanta, Atlantic City, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, and St Paul. That's a remarkably small number of locales, even when the requirements of hosting an event this large are taken into consideration.

Many people have interpreted Charlotte's win as a commitment from Democrats to compete in swing states like North Carolina in the 2012 election. I think that's a correct interpretation. Democrats must carry some states in the South to retain the White House. The far left wing of the party often forgets that.

Whether placing the convention in Charlotte will actually help President Obama win North Carolina... well, that remains to be seen. But it can't hurt, absent a disastrous convention like 1968. I vividly remember Senator Abraham Ribicoff denouncing Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago. Watch the replay at http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?play=1&video=829727645 (and endure a brief advertisement beforehand).

I have never seen a national political convention go to multiple ballots. In modern times, party leaders will do anything to prevent that. Obviously it won't happen in Charlotte in 2012, but I'd like to see it happen at least once before I pass on. That would be great theater.